News: The Chilika Development Authority(CDA) has designated the fishing cat as ambassador which is being called as an important step towards conservation of the vulnerable species. Facts:
- Fishing Cat: It is a medium-sized wildcat found in South and Southeast Asia.They are nocturnal and are an adept swimmer which enters water frequently to prey on fish and other animals.
- Habitat: In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.
- Significance: In 2012, the West Bengal government officially declared the Fishing Cat as the State Animal.
- IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
- CITES: Appendix II
- Indian Wildlife Protection Act,1972: Schedule I
- Threat: Habitat Destruction, Hunting, Ritual Practices, Poaching among others.
- Chilka Lake:It is Asia’s largest brackish water lake spread over districts of Odisha at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
- In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.